Artists team up with city planners in unique Creative CityMaking partnership

Artists will have a hand in five city planning projects in 2013, thanks to a new program that is helping Minneapolis develop into a city that is a living work of art.  Creative CityMaking is a partnership between Intermedia Arts and the City of Minneapolis that fosters collaborations between local artists and City planners to develop fresh and innovative approaches for addressing the long-term transportation, land use, economic, environmental, and social issues facing Minneapolis.

In 2013, Creative CityMaking will embed four artists/artist teams in the Long Range Planning Division of the City’s Community Planning and Economic Development Department (CPED).  Four teams of artists have been selected and paired up with five planning projects, which they will work on through 2013.  The partnership of artists and planners is intended to forge, enhance, or develop new strategies for working through the creative processes inherent in visionary planing and city making. It is intended to engage artists in critical thinking and art making around City and urban issues and to increase artists’ and planners’ ability to facilitate community interaction and work collaborativley with the public to foster positive change in the quality and trajectory of social discourse about the city’s urban future.  Their collaborative work will be showcased throughout the year at citywide community events, culminating in a public exhibition and forum at Intermedia Arts.

The projects selected and the artists and planners who will work on them include:

Penn Avenue North Small Area Plan

In 2013, the City of Minneapolis and Hennepin County Community Works are embarking on a cooperative effort to rethink land uses and transportation along Penn Avenue North – from Interstate 394 on the south to Osseo Boulevard on the north.  One component of this effort will be for the City to work with neighborhoods and businesses along the corridor to develop a small area plan.  The goals for this project are to stimulate economic development, job creation, housing strategies, beautification, and livability, in and between the string of commercial nodes along this important spine in North Minneapolis. The project will consider the connections to and through north Minneapolis and improved access to transit, including, but not limited to rapid bus service that would connect the Penn Avenue Corridor to Bottineau LRT and Southwest LRT.    

Southwest LRT Station Area Planning

Artist Diane Willow will be working with CPED planners on the City’s part of planning the long-range land use and transportation interface between neighborhoods and businesses at five station stops on the Southwest LRT line: Royalston Station, Van White Boulevard Station, Penn Avenue Station, West 21st Street Station, and the West Lake Street Station.  Planning efforts in Minneapolis are one part of a larger project known as the Southwest LRT Transitional Station Area Action Plan (TSAAP).  The TSAAP is intended to promote opening day readiness for 2018 by bridging the gap between current conditions and future station area needs for infrastructure and development. Willow will assist planners to develop creative and impactful community engagement strategies as well as providing a fresh perspective on evaluating station area needs.

Southeast and Southwest planning

This team of three artists will work with two planners on two different two small area plans.  In the first half of the year, Kent, Cummings, and Ero-Phillips will work with a planner on developing a small area plan for Linden Hills in southwest Minneapolis. In the second half of the year, the three artists will work with a city planner on developing a small area plan for Dinkytown in southeast Minneapolis.  In both cases, planners and artists will be working with neighborhood residents and businesses to prepare a long-range vision for land use, transportation, and property development in the defined areas. Each plan will examine the current conditions of the area and develop a future vision of what residents and business representatives want the neighborhood or area to become, then formulate specific goals, objectives, and policies or projects to implement that vision.  

Capstone evaluation of the City’s 10-Year Historic Survey efforts

The City of Minneapolis is embarking on an effort to analyze and assess the combined findings of historic survey work conducted over the past 10 years. The City’s project is funded by a grant from the National Park Service and the Minnesota Historical Society. Project partners expect to identify the salient strengths and fill in any remaining gaps in the geographic and thematic base of the City’s repository of historic assessments. The project will highlight the main takeaways from ten years of survey work, and it will include an assessment of historic public sculpture located throughout the city. Outcomes from this process will help to shape preservation policy and development opportunities in Minneapolis for the coming generation. The city planner and artist will work together to design and conduct a public engagement campaign to educate residents, the business community, educational institutions, and the general public about this rich source of data and findings about the city’s history.  

About Creative CityMaking

Creative CityMaking is one of three initiatives funded by $1 million in grant dollars awarded by ArtPlace America.  The projects are designed to increase livability, vibrancy and economic development in communities throughout the city. Intermedia Arts was awarded a grant in the amount of $325,000 for Creative CityMaking, and those grant funds augment and enhance the City’s funding for these projects.  It does not replace City funding, and the use of the ArtPlace funds does not take away from the City’s tax base or funding sources.

Published Jan 14, 2013